Just a quick note to let you know I’m guest posting at the Dare to Bloom site, and giving away an ebook copy of Heaven’s Prey. Come join the conversation about why we write — and/or read — fiction. Click here: Why Write Fiction? (Giveaway ends July 26, 2017, and is of course void where prohibited by law.)
“What’s the strangest tidbit you discovered in researching your novel?”
That’s a question I like to ask other writers in interviews. Or, “what’s the most interesting thing you learned,” or “what was the most fun to research?”
Today I’m asking myself those questions. Writing suspense novels means most of what I research is unpleasant. Sometimes I even wonder if someone in a uniform will show up at my door to take away my laptop. I try to get the difficult topics out of the way first, so I can reward myself with the lighter things.
So… here’s what I’d call the most fun… and the strangest:
Heaven’s Prey: most fun: definitely the racing. In the name of research, I attended the movie Kart Racer, about a boy learning to race competive go-karts. Much later in the process, I discovered a slew of online videos on driving tips and engine sounds.
Secrets and Lies: most fun: spending a day with my husband, visiting the Centre Island Park where Carol and Joey picnicked in the novel.
Without Proof: strangest: causes of small plane crashes. In all seriousness, plane crashes are not funny. People get hurt or killed, costly damage happens. But setting the tragedy aside momentarily, some of the circumstances of these accidents are highly amusing. My favourite, I think, is the crocodile incident as described below:
A passenger brought aboard a crocodile hidden in a sports bag. The crocodile escaped, causing a panic among passengers who all rushed to one end of the plane. This caused an imbalance in the aircraft which led to loss of control and a crash.
The article at the PlaneCrashInfo.com site is lengthy, but it’s an interesting history of unusual accidents from 1933 to 2010. Some are sabotage, others are stupidity. If you’re so inclined, there’s a lot more things to check out on the site.
What about my new series? The crime and health resources would give spoilers for the books, and they’ve been neither fun nor strange so far. One thing I’ve been looking at is dory photos, to find out what the boat looks like in front of the Green Dory Inn. (The boat’s not seaworthy, and the owner has turned it into a flower garden.)
Oh — and what I think may be the most fun research? I’d like to know what the best chocolate dessert is in the Town of Lunenburg, and where it’s available. Who says research can’t be hands-on?
First in the Redemption’s Edge series, last to get its own playlist…
There’s only one song mentioned in Heaven’s Prey. Quick, can you name it? Without scanning the rest of this post?
Didn’t think so 🙂
Here’s the Heaven’s Prey playlist: music that complements the characters and theme. (Song list below the video, if you just want to see what’s there without listening to it all.)
Heaven’s Prey Playlist:
“Come Into His Kingdom” by Sheila Walsh (I think of this as the Heaven’s Prey theme song)
“Here and Someday” by Jonny Diaz (Ruth’s song for Susan)
“With Hope” by Steven Curtis Chapman (Ruth’s sister Lorna’s song for Susan)
“Surrendering” by Sheila Walsh (Ruth’s song for Tony)
“In Christ Alone” by Adrienne Liesching and Geoff Moore (an anchoring song for Ruth)
“Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman (an anchoring song for Ruth)
“Don’t Turn Your Back on Jesus” by Sheila Walsh
“Amazing Grace” by Susan Boyle
“To God Be the Glory” by the Royal Albert Hall audience and stage choirs (also a good theme song)
If you’ve been waiting to read my Redemption’s Edge novels or the Hot Apple Cider anthologies, now’s the time. KOBO has a worldwide half-price sale on select ebooks, including Heaven’s Prey, Secrets and Lies, Without Proof (preorder), and Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon.
Not a Kobo reader? Did you know the Kobo reading app is free for your electronic devices? Plus, if you’ve never tried them, they’re also offering a $5 bonus!
See below for codes and dates:
Canada: October 28th – October 31st
Promo Code: CA50SALE
United States/Australia/New Zealand: October 27th – October 30th
Promo Code: GET50SALE
United Kingdom: October 30th – November 2nd
Promo Code: UK50SALE
Tell your friends, and happy shopping!
Extra post this weekend… because I found out that my books are included in a half-price sale in the Kobo store! [Don’t have a Kobo? They have a free app to download for your tablet, phone or computer.]
If you wanted to read them before Without Proof comes out in November, now’s your chance. The following links are for the Canadian store, but Kobo sells worldwide. Outside of Canada, just go to your country’s Kobo store and search “Redemption’s Edge Sketchley”.
To buy: add the book(s) to your cart, proceed to checkout, and scroll down to see where to add a promotion code. Type SALE50 and you’ll see the discount apply. It works on more than one book, so stock up for fall reading! Sale ends August 31.
Just a quick post to let you know about two opportunities to win a copy of my books:
At suspense author Patricia Bradley’s blog: one copy of Secrets and Lies (Canada and US only, ends Aug. 16)
At the Koala Mom’s blog: one set of Heaven’s Prey and Secrets and Lies (Canada and US only, ends Aug. 31) There are plenty of other giveaways at this site, too, since author Bonnie Way is celebrating a blogging anniversary.
This post’s title makes me smile. Mostly where I’ve been, writing-wise, is hunkered in my writing corner, finishing the first draft of No Safe Place.
However, this introvert has taken herself and her books into the wider world, and found it’s not as scary as she thought. So far this year I’ve spoken to a readers’ group at one local church and a seniors’ group at another. Most people at the first event had read one or both of my books, and it was so much fun to be able to talk about my imaginary friends without worrying about spoilers. At the second event, I shared my writing journey so far and reconnected with people I hadn’t seen in a long time.
I’ve also set up book tables at a couple of craft fairs and a conference. I’ll be at a Spring Craft & Business Fair tomorrow at Cole Harbour Place (click the link for details). If you’re in the Halifax area, stop and say hi. [There’s a $2 entry fee, the proceeds of which go to charity.]
In all honesty, I never expected to enjoy the public side of book promotion, but I’m having fun with this.
I’ve also done some “visiting” online:
Did you ever have a question for a fictional character? I do, sometimes, and I enjoy reading character interviews. Paula Vince, of The Vince Review, sent me a question for Tony Warner of Heaven’s Prey. (Thank you, Paula!)
Tony, I can hardly imagine what it must have been like, when a sporting hero of yours committed such a heinous crime against your family. I can understand how you must have felt when your wife, Ruth, began praying for Harry Silver. But since Ruth’s return from her own ordeal, have you been able to forgive Harry from your heart too?
It’s been over a year and a half now, but there are days I have to forgive him all over again. Every time something reminds me of our niece, Susan, or see how much her parents — and Ruth and I — have aged. The worst times are when it comes back on Ruth in a nightmare.
The damage can’t be undone. I know God worked it all out for good, bringing Harry and me both into a saving relationship with Him. <Tony laughs> I can tell you it didn’t do anything good for my pride when I realized I was as distant from God as a serial rapist-murderer.
God kept Ruth safe from the horrible things Harry would have done to her, and the experience strengthened her faith. But she carries the emotional scars, and I hate that. The counselor she sees, and her pastor, help her keep holding onto Jesus, and He is enough.
Did you know Ruth’s started sharing her story in some local churches? The investigations have wrapped up now, so the circumstances of Harry’s return to custody don’t have to remain secret. Ruth doesn’t talk much about his conversion — she says that’s his story, not hers — but she speaks to women’s groups about how God kept her safe and sane. And about the importance of prayer.
Sometimes I go with her, especially if it’s a mixed event. People seem to want to hear my side, too. We’re trying to encourage Harry to write his story, not the crimes so much, but his journey. What made a successful, healthy man turn into a dangerous offender? And how did the God of the Universe break his heart to heal it?
Thanks for asking, Paula. All the best!
If you’ve read Heaven’s Prey, you may remember that Harry Silver has a sister, Carol Silver Daniels. Secrets and Lies is Carol’s story, and it takes place chronologically between the final chapter of Heaven’s Prey and the epilogue.
Heaven’s Prey is psychological suspense, and pretty intense in places. Secrets and Lies has a lighter tone, and it’s romantic suspense. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
With Secrets and Lies releasing next month, I want to introduce some of my fictional friends. So… meet Carol Daniels.
Carol is a 30-something single mom, starting over in Toronto after an anonymous creep threatened her son, Paul. She didn’t tell Paul that’s why they left Calgary—why she dyed her dark hair honey ash and cut it short, why she started wearing glasses with non-corrective lenses. Why she’s so “controlling,” to use her son’s word for it.
Paul is sixteen and pushing the limits she sets. He’s a good kid, does well enough in school, but she can’t stop worrying that he’ll end up like his father: a loser musician who loved the spotlight—and the female fans—more than he loved his wife and sons.
I say “sons” because Carol and Skip had two, both from teen pregnancy. Carol would tell you life got easier once Skip died in a car wreck, but losing her other son nearly killed her. Keith was only twelve when he died of a drug overdose. If she hadn’t still had Paul to care for, and Keith’s dog, she’d never have kept her sanity.
No wonder a threat on Paul’s life sent her fleeing half-way across the country.
Why would someone threaten an innocent teen? Technically, the guy threatened them both, but he did suggest that her son was an easier target. As for why? Carol’s estranged brother is a dangerous offender: Harry Silver. You may have read about him in Heaven’s Prey. Harry’s enemies can’t touch him directly, but his family are walking around unprotected.
That’s what the note said, and that’s why Carol and Paul relocated with no forwarding address.
These days Carol works at the Sticky Fingers Café, baking desserts and waiting tables. She’s trying to keep anonymous in this new city, and outside of work she hasn’t met many people. Is it sad that speed dial #1 on her phone is the late-night deejay on the local oldies station? And #2 is a friend in Calgary?
Carol loves to bake, especially with chocolate. When the nightmares wake her, she’ll often whip up a pan of brownies or a batch of cookies. She’ll make herself a cup of tea—peppermint is her favourite—and ask for a Billy Joel song on the all-request oldies show. The deejay, Joey, is easy to talk to. And he doesn’t know who—or where—she is, so she’s safe.
What else do I need to tell you about Carol? She’s not as safe as she thinks she is. What’s coming is more than she can handle on her own. And she won’t pray for help, not after what happened the last time she tried prayer.
You can meet Carol, Paul, Joey and a few others this November in Secrets and Lies, Redemption’s Edge Book 2.
I’ve been busy lately with final edits and formatting for Secrets and Lies, Redemption’s Edge book 2, which will release November 1. Soon I’ll be able to share the cover art with you… I can’t wait to see it. Christina Fuselli, who designed the cover of Heaven’s Prey, is on the job, so I know it’ll be great.
Speaking of Heaven’s Prey, I’m giving away a copy over at Everyone’s Story (ends Oct. 3). Just pop over and leave a comment to be entered to win. I encourage you to stop by anyway and check out my guest post. It’s the story of my writing dream, and how God brought it back to life. Click to read: Making Daydreams Real.
If you’ve wanted to read Heaven’s Prey before the next novel comes out, time’s growing short. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet and don’t win one through Everyone’s Story, a few public libraries have copies. It’s also available in multiple ebook formats, and Amazon is processing the revised print version now. See my Heaven’s Prey book page for links.
Back to Secrets and Lies: Each Friday in October, I’ll introduce you to a character from the novel, with a special surprise for the final Friday in the month. This novel’s less intense than Heaven’s Prey, and it’s romantic suspense.